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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    564

    Volkl Mantra Jr 2018: full rocker or not?

    Conflicting info out there. Looking for my daughter's next ski. Volkl Mantra Jr sounds like a popular option.

    But is it full rocker, or rocker-camber-rocker? Some websites say the former, some the latter. Evo's site says one in one place, the other in another place, in the same description on the same page!

    So which is it? And how aggressive does a kid need to be, to enjoy this ski?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Western MT
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    1,346
    Tip and tail rocker, not full, according to Volkl: https://www.voelkl.com/en-us/product...antra-jr-6065/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    pugski.com
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    3,215
    Zero camber ski to rocker tip and tail. On firm snow, the ski is greasy and needs to be on a high edge angle to get feedback from. IMHO I would rather see a kid on a ski with camber.
    Click. Point. Chute.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    564
    Ok, gotama jr sounds iffy.

    Know anything about a Rossi Smash 7? It's rocker/camber/rocker. 92mm waist, pretty soft, not necessarily a kids' ski, but sounds like plenty of kids on them.

    I actually bought a pair (140's), 'cuz the REI labor day sale price was too good to pass up (and I know I can return them).

    Been hard to get a feel for them via online feedback - too soft, too beginner-y for some, too stiff for others; not stable enough for some, "too fast" for others. Oddly, the happiest skiers on them seem to be kids, despite this suppedly being a men's, adult ski (but what men's, adult ski even comes in a 140?).

    What do you think, for an 11 yo girl, in CO, who is getting pretty darn competent (can make it down most things with style/confidence), but who isn't super fast/aggressive?

    P.S. I was asking about the gotama jr because I was starting to 2nd-guess myself for not getting a kid-ski for the kid.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    On The Flipside
    Posts
    853
    My 7 yo has the Gotama Jr. and he does quite well on it. When he gets tired or lazy he tends to lean back and the ski will wheelie. He loves that ski, and always picks it over his full camber ski. I do think having the camber (rocker tip/tail) would help him with the leaning back wheelie. The gotama jr seems to like bigger turns, but he can turn it quick in the trees when he needs to. He is a fast blue skier and a slower black skier.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    279
    I think some of the diverse thoughts on the full rocker Volkl kids ski depends on style, technique, weight and strength. My daughter has had three pairs of these as she grew 118, 138, and 158cm. All 80mm waist. Home mountains are in PA with yearly Powmow trips, occasional Vermont or Colorado trip.

    When she got her first pair she was quite light for her size and the full rocker made her a better skier in all conditions. She was in a mellow race program during the time she free skied on the 118 and 138. As such she knew about getting her skis on edge, she skied well on the full rocker free skiing. She had a pair of slalom, skis at the time and preferred the mini goats even on packed PA snow.

    Eventually ended top with a two ski quiver 0f 158 Head GS and the mini goats in 158. Loved both even though very different. No longer in race program.

    Grew out of 158's. New quiver will be Head 172 GS jr(Loves these,) 162 Shiro Jr(own but unskied,) and likely a New Kenja 88 in 163. So mostly moving away from full reverse except for new snow days. Will be interesting to see how she does/likes Kenjas.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    749

    Volkl Mantra Jr 2018: full rocker or not?

    FWIW neither of my kids ever liked their gotama jrs.
    My oldest thought they were just ok. My youngest actually disliked them to the point of refusing to ever ski them.
    They were both in race programs in CO and they both much much much preferred cochise team jrs which have a bit of camber underfoot and to me handflex a bit stiffer as wider free skis but not sure blizzard makes those anymore either.

    I understood gotama jrs to be identical or darn near same as later mantra jrs but I'd definitely consider the pair I'm holding right now to be full rocker, not zero camber so maybe they've changed them.

    Don't know anything about smash 7's but I've definitely seen quite a few kids on them

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Posts
    908
    Quote Originally Posted by dcpnz View Post
    FWIW neither of my kids ever liked their gotama jrs.
    Exactly the same experience with my two kids. They are also aggressive like it sounds like dcpnz's are, so that may have something to do with it..

    My son skied Rossi S7 Pros at about 12-13 years old, and my daughter skied Solly Rockette 90s. Both worked well for a year or two. They both changed to full adult skis by 14 or so. (yes I know the Rockettes are adult, but now she's on a ski more her choosing.)
    Last edited by beece; 09-09-2019 at 05:33 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    408
    My son has had two pairs of the Mantra Junior, 118cm and 128cm, he really liked them, they seemed like a really versatile ski. I don't have the skis with me but I'm pretty sure they were flat with some rocker in the tip and tail.

    I'm considering getting him the Nordica Enforcer 95s for his next set, anyone have any experience with these?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Moose, Iowa
    Posts
    5,848
    Bought my 9 year old girl some 139 k2 Pinnacle Jr for her daily driver this next couple years. She has not tried them yet but the reviews and testimonials from people I trust are promising and they are burly - full wood core. Definitely have camber under foot and rocker in the tips and tails. Great reviews. She already has a bunch of race skis and a narrower all mountain ski she used last year (124ish). We will see. 84 underfoot. 110-84-98

    Our experience with the Rossi S7 Jrs is that they are noodles and will not really hold an edge so they kind of discourage carving. Okay in the soft though and the kids have fun banging around on them. I have a pair my stepson used and then my friends kids but they are getting soft inside so I pulled the bindings and they are destined for the garbage. I really don't want to let my girl ski on them. Always frustrated watching kids skiing the pieces of shit. My stepson went from those to a solid pair of Nordica Fuel 150 somethings and it was night and day.

    Note: clarify not commenting on the smash jr. We have S7 JR..
    Last edited by uglymoney; 09-09-2019 at 09:42 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    223
    Here are my kids Mantra Jr in 138. He's used them 2 years now but he has had a growth spurt and these are way too short now but he loves these skis. Not exactly rippers on New England boilerplate but for everything else they were great. Search is on for new skis as well.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    pugski.com
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    3,215
    What is sad is the original mold was the earlier Mantra junior (black/red/silver) and that was fully cambered.

    There are some good options here now though depending what size the kid needs. Elan Ripstick jr., DPS Grom, K2 Mindbender team. Blizz and Nordica also have junior skis in the 90mm range that are pretty good too.
    Click. Point. Chute.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    the gach
    Posts
    5,494
    My kids ski so much better on camber its ridiculous. They were on the older cambered mantras and killing it then full rockered gotamas and shiros. The shiros were better all around than the gotamas. Not sure why but ski technique suffered badly on gots and was ok on shiros despite both being full rocker.

    My oldest shot up to 54 from 411 this year and I dont think the skis I got her last year at the end of season are going to work for her this year.
    But Ellen kicks ass - if she had a beard it would be much more haggard. -Jer

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    749
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Evil View Post
    I'm considering getting him the Nordica Enforcer 95s for his next set, anyone have any experience with these?
    No personal experience but I've read that the nordica is identical except for topsheet as the blizzard cochise team jr. Shape certainly looks like that could be true and if so I'm a big fan - see comment above in thread.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Posts
    908
    Quote Originally Posted by uglymoney View Post

    Our experience with the Rossi S7 Jrs is that they are noodles and will not really hold an edge so they kind of discourage carving.
    Huh. Our experience was different. Certainly not race skis but my son held edges fine with them at very high rates of speed (despite his parents yelling at him to slow the hell down and watch out for other skiers.) Then again, Colorado snow is forgiving for carving.

    All in all, it was a pretty good ski for him here - by the time the kids were 12 or so there was very little time spent on groomers. As high schoolers, they are now skiing K2 Marksman and Prodigy Ws respectively and are on the steepest, tightest stuff with the biggest hucks they can find, so the S7 and the Solly fit their desired style well when they were younger. They were on fully cambered skis till about 10-11 and they can carve wet pasta at this point, but they like the rocker for speed in tight stuff cause they can smear and drift and it helps with landings.

    So I guess I'd say that as you pick a ski, all kids are different, their goals are different and your terrain is unique. If you are skiing in the NE primarily I'd stay in a really cambered ski longer for young teens. If they are really aggressive and carve well really young I'd say that lesson is learned and to move on to a tool (ski) that can give them other benefits for particular terrain and styles. If we lived in SLC, for example, maybe we would have switched to a wider, more rockered ski when they were a couple years younger - or had two skis that they could choose between depending on conditions. And if your kid is a racer of any kind keep their play skis cambered longer, I'd say.

    I strongly agree with what others here have said - the time to learn how to carve with camber is when they are young. That's the biggest payoff. But I'd then add that once they've really mastered that, there are many advanced techniques that I've found adults have a hard time learning, whereas it's much easier for teens. Buttering, smearing, switch, drifting, pure jump turns, skiing with pressure on any one of the 4 edges, on your tips, on your tails, and doing any of those techniques only on one ski while the other does something different are incredibly valuable skills, especially as the speed gets high and the exposure and slope (and ramifications) go up. I think they learn this by just fucking around like idiots on skis and doing dumb, difficult stuff. Rocker helps with that. I think that's a good step once camber and carving is mastered.

    So I'd beware a one size fits all answer for what it's worth. Only one opinion and YMMV.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Moose, Iowa
    Posts
    5,848
    Beece great post! Agree with all your points save for the s7.

    My stepson is a great athlete and can ski anything with confidence and absolutely blaze the shit out of any bootpack but his form on hardpack leaves a lot to be desired. Makes me cringe sometimes. The S7 just helped him be sloppy. His friend was exactly the same way with them. When out west they worked okay because as you say we were usually powder seeking or rolling through trees on the edges of runs.

    My daughter skis exactly like me. Which is to say (somewhat arrogantly) her form is much better than that of my stepson but I refuse to let her use those things. I taught them both how to ski. Not sure how these things happen since he always pretended to listen to me and she always ignores me.

    I still say those s7's are absolute garbage

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    408
    Quote Originally Posted by dcpnz View Post
    No personal experience but I've read that the nordica is identical except for topsheet as the blizzard cochise team jr. Shape certainly looks like that could be true and if so I'm a big fan - see comment above in thread.
    Thanks for the info, I picked up the skis for him yesteday, I think I'm more excited about them then my son

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    223
    Any input on the Black Crows Magnis?

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